The first ever dog to test positive for coronavirus in the US has died.
The seven-year-old German shepherd named Buddy from Staten Island in New York, passed away after a three-month illness battle.
Two vets, who had not treated Buddy, but reviewed his medical records for National Geographic, told the publication that the dog probably had cancer.
It is unclear if Buddy died from complications connected to the killer virus or lymphoma he may have had, National Geographic reports.
The magazine reported: “It’s unclear whether cancer made him more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, or if the virus made him ill, or if it was just a case of coincidental timing.”
Buddy’s owner Robert Mahoney tested positive for Covid-19 in the spring and when the dog fell ill in April he suspected he had the virus too.
However it wasn’t until mid-May that the family found a vet who was prepared to test him.
The test confirmed Buddy was infected with the virus.
Mr Mahoney’s wife Allison told the National Geographic: “You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you (as if you have) ten heads.”
The US Department of Agriculture confirmed Buddy was the first dog to test positive for the coronavirus in the US on June 2.
They reported at the time that he would make a full recovery but Buddy’s health deteriorated.
On July 11, Mrs Mahoney told National Geographic that she found Buddy throwing up clotted blood.
She said: “It looked like it was his insides coming out. He had it all over. It was coming from his nose and mouth. We knew there was nothing that could be done for him from there. What are you going to do for a dog with this? But he had the will to live. He didn’t want to go.”
Buddy was put to sleep to end his suffering.
According to the USDA, less than 25 dogs and cats are confirmed to be infected with coronavirus in the US.